Additional Illumination: Cabinet lights can complement the main overhead lighting. It can be especially useful in providing focused illumination on the work area and highlighting the backsplash.
Elimination of Shadows: Even with a bright overhead light, shadows may still form on the work area due to wall cabinets. Placing light under the cabinets eliminates these shadows, providing adequate illumination for your cooking and food preparation.
Design and Ambiance: Installing cabinet lights makes a big difference to the look of a space. Depending on the type of lighting installed, your kitchen or bathroom can attain a warmer, more contemporary or more futuristic feel. So if you are remodelling, consider adding a splash of style with under cabinet lighting fixtures.
Features to Look for Cabinet Lights
Different lighting options vary when it comes to light color, brightness, energy saving and life spams.
In regards to voltage, there are two main types of under cabinet lighting; normal (line) voltage (120V) lighting and low voltage (12V or 24V) lighting. There is no significant difference in energy savings, light quality and life span between high voltage and low voltage under cabinet lighting.
Low voltage lighting however has a few advantages. For one, you can use smaller light fixtures, making it possible to fit more lights in a tight space under the cabinet. Secondly, low voltage lighting produces less heat, making for a more comfortable space.
Note that a transformer is necessary if you opt for low voltage lighting. The transformer steps down the high 120V voltage into a lower 12V or 24V voltage. Usually, the transformer will be installed inside the cabinet or in another remote location along the circuit.
There are two basic types of wiring used with under cabinet lighting; hard-wire and simple plug in. Hard-wiring involves connecting the lights directly to the existing wiring in the house. Power is drawn directly from a power source. Plug in draws power from a power outlet, often a wall socket.
Obviously, plug-in lighting is the simpler and least expensive option that you can even install yourself. For the hard-wire options, the services of a professional electrician will be necessary. So for ease of installation, our recommendation is plug in lighting. Some sellers will sell under cabinet lighting that can either be plugged in or hardwired. Other types of under cabinet lighting are plug-in only or hard-wire only. So make sure you check the wiring requirements when shopping for under cabinet lighting.
Some types of under cabinet lighting have no wiring requirements at all. They are battery powered.
3. Dimming Capability
We highly recommend that you get lighting with a dimming capability. While this may mean incurring extra cost for the dimmers, it gives you much more control over the lighting. One benefit for this is saving energy. When you do not need the bright light, dimming it can save some energy.
Additionally, different people may have varying visual needs. For example a person with eyesight problems may want low-intensity lightning without the painful glare. Dimmers ensure that everyone can work in the lighting conditions they prefer best. Dimmers also come in handy when you want some mood lighting in your kitchen.
4. Fixture Lenses
Fixture lenses are important in creating a uniform light distribution, minimizing bright reflections on the counter and reducing glare. Halogen and xenon lighting fixtures can be especially glaring making it necessary to include lenses in your purchase.
5. Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency has become an all-important part of residential lighting. If you are looking for the most energy efficient under cabinet lighting option, LED is the place to go. Some LED fixtures use as little as 5 watts while still emitting adequate illumination. An added advantage is that LED lights are easy to dim, adding to their energy-saving capability. They also produce very little to almost no heat.
Xenon lights are less energy efficient but are still a lot better than the power-gobbling incandescent lamps. They have a nice warm glow, giving your kitchen a homely ambiance. They are also dimmable, which can help save some energy. Note that xenon lights tend to give off a little heat.
The other great options for energy efficient under cabinet lighting include halogen and fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lighting is especially energy efficient and produces almost no heat. A downside of fluorescent fixtures is that most of them cannot be dimmed, giving you less control over the light intensity.
6. Heat Output
We have already talked a little about heat output under ‘energy efficiency’. To recap, fluorescent, and LED lighting are best when it comes to heat output. They are cool to the touch. This is especially important in a kitchen where certain foods or food ingredients could be sensitive to heat.
Xenon lighting gets a little hotter than both fluorescent and LED. Halogen lighting is often regarded as the hottest under cabinet lighting, though it is still a much more preferable option to traditional incandescent bulbs. Get in touch with Mases Lighting for all your cabinet lights installation